Tag Archives: spam

A hive of villainy

“I think you’ve been hacked,” comes the email from a friend. It’s a semi-regular occurrence these days, ever since my account genuinely was hacked some time ago. Except spammers didn’t leave a stream of crap in my sent mail; instead they lifted my address book, and every now and again somebody who’s bought the list afresh spoofs my identity and sends everyone I’ve ever corresponded with some dodgy link.

I hate it, but there’s nothing I can do.

Yesterday I got a text message from what claimed to be Buzzfeed. Except I don’t think Buzzfeed have changed business model from listicles of other people’s tweets to telling randomers about PPI claims. At some point, my phone number was sold to someone unscrupulous and now it’s clearly doing the rounds of people even more unscrupulous. I get these texts semi-regularly and I log every single one with the Information Commissioner’s Office because I’m a pedantic and vindictive bastard at times.

I hate it, but at least it’s one thing I can do.

One of the ways I pay my bills is as a comments moderator. You know, one of those poor sods who has to read everything poured out below the line. It is, shall we say, instructive. But all the racism, all the misogyny, all the homophobia doesn’t enrage me as much as one particular type of spamming.

I spend a few hours a week working on a site for people with health problems. It’s a support site for an illness. Some of the people on there are dying, or someone close to them is dying. Most of them are going through a terrible time. All of them are under pressure. So why wouldn’t you, as a spammer, join up simply to post advertising about buying fake documents, or drugs, or a new kitchen?

These people are the scum of the earth. And they are people: bots can’t post to this site. Somewhere, in a darkened basement in Indonesia or China, is a hive of villainy, deliberately interrupting a heart-rending discussion about pain or mortality or grief with links to online share dealers. Most heinous of all, if a user has ticked a certain box, it lands in their inbox as a notification of new site activity.

Actually, no. I’m being unfair. The people posting this stuff probably don’t realise what they’re doing. I can’t imagine they spend time trawling Google for online forums to disrupt. They probably can’t even read English well enough to understand what they’re trampling on.

It’s whoever’s paid them who are the real cunts. Somewhere, in a conservatory in Hampshire, is a businessman transferring funds for these darkest of arts, perhaps with a list of target sites. Or he knows that the spam sweatshop he’s paying has a list of regular targets. And he doesn’t care what they might be.

I was once so incensed that I checked up on one of the serial offenders. It all ties back to a legitimate business in the UK, but the owner is notoriously dodgy. I find it very hard to believe he doesn’t know what’s happening, particularly as this spam has been posted for over three years and I’ve found examples online of people having called up the company HQ to complain. The owner is attempting to make money off the back of vulnerable people. The owner is a waste of oxygen. Every now and again I Google him, hoping to read that a gangster rival has offed him in spectacular fashion.

I hate it, but it’s the one thing I can do.

This is particularly useful if your backyard is not fenced in

It’s hard to know why anyone bothers getting up when there’ll never be enough time to lick every ice cream in the world, or to right all the wrongs committed in those happy, heady years before guilt, or to sell enough shoddy products nobody needs to be able to buy that boat you’ll eventually fall off and drown next to.

But wait a minute: we can do little about ice cream and guilt but it turns out that last one, selling stuff, is easily rectified. This has been proven by whichever genius has created the machine that would fill the comments section under each post on this site with incomprehensible marketing-related shite, if only I’d forgotten to set it up so each comment needs approval.

Since yesterday morning I’ve had six emails from a robot, perhaps underlining Stephen Hawking’s ominous predictions of artificial intelligence destined to finish us all . The name supplied is different each time but they all come from the same website, which for the sake of argument we will call toboganium.com, because that’s what it is.

Leave some space between the various perennials you choose for more impact. Perhaps you want to do landscaping on the side and go full-time when you already have a steady list of clients. Large sized projects where a single person is working dedicatedly on single tasks.

Laudable advice, I’m sure you’ll agree, for anyone without prior experience interested in learning about landscaping from an arbitrary starting point via a series of sentences of increasing lunacy.

By following the LEED certification requirements, you are sure to make intelligent and sustainable building choices. Anytime you are considering changing your landscape, you must also think about the structures that already stand on your property. This is particularly useful if your backyard is not fenced in.

I read that last sentence in the pub and, perhaps because I’d been away from the internet for some hours, my mind delivered images to itself that the writer of the sentence most likely didn’t intend. Think ‘rosebud’, but do not think Orson Welles.

You should also keep in mind that a plant will have different branching structures throughout its growth. Easements are created when another property owner (or interested party) requires access to property that may only be accessed from the primary owner’s property. Any business you want to start needs to begin with a business plan.

This one purported to come from a woman named Deirdre Forest, a woman who should know a lot about branching structures and I don’t care if you didn’t laugh at that. Others in this remarkable collection came from: Mikki Frier (the Asian American character in a teen horror movie, the third to be killed, who takes her surname from the stepdad she hates); Carmela Kinchela (anyone with a rhyming name gets my landscaping vote); Bond villain Vickie Clore; Lamont Flannagan (the one having trouble with his/her backyard); and Stormy Freytag, the protaganist in the film that killed off poor Mikki Frier and her topless friends.

Leave some space between the various perennials you choose for more impact. Had you always been thinking to upgrade the pavers of the patio. Crushed and made into soft, tumbled stone, glass becomes a practical and visually appealing second-hand product.

Here we move into dreamscape territory. Glorious electricity snakes across the vivid heavens as the verdant moss creeps ever closer to the edge of my eternal essence. You want a landscaper to sort that out mate, and I know just the chap.

Landscaping includes not just the lawn, but the trees, shrubs, sprinklers, furniture and other features of your Omaha yard. Fix it: Keep up with routine maintenance and it won’t bury you when you are getting a house ready to sell. A landscape designer knows where to place the flowers for greater effect and what plants to seed.

To me, the word Omaha conjures up images of American soldiers being torn to pieces on a Normandy beach in scenes of sheer horror that remained quite unimaginable – until 2002, when a computer game called Medal of Honor allowed us to be the Nazis on the hill doing the tearing, thus transforming the terror into carefree fun. Never let it be said we’re doomed as a race.

Transition or sequence creates visual motion in landscape design. Fix it: Keep up with routine maintenance and it won’t bury you when you are getting a house ready to sell. My blogs cover many areas (niches) from sport related to health and financial areas.

Yes I just bet it does, Mr Toboganium, but your advice in the realm of landscaping is so astute I should stick with that if you’re keen to separate me from my hard earned. Toboganium is a fine name to have chosen, by the way. It conjures up two images for me. One is of an enormous warehouse selling every type of toboggan and sled imaginable to a populace who need reminding that snow is one of our planet’s finest gifts rather than a hateful substance Earth flings down to stop us getting to work. The second is of a flower going very, very fast.

I’ve no doubt these are the images you hoped I would dream up when you began sending me your marketing muck, because simply saying “Look, you have money, we want it, and here’s some shit we’re willing to part with to make that happen” is not exactly how 21st century marketing and advertising became 98% of all traffic online. Though the suicide rates of people involved in marketing and advertising deserve to be up there with bankers and golfers I sense they’re more likely to be tying up unspeakably lucrative deals than nooses as the western world gets ever more frivolous.

Not everyone will agree with that, of course. For some, marketing and advertising are the blood pumping through the arteries of a free economy, and without it all this would still be fields. They make a fine living from making a product seem invaluable to a customer, allowing a phone company to take a call to a credit card company who merrily acquiesce knowing that a bailiff is ready and raring to go when it turns out the product is as essential as a cow-tipping machine and the customer is a mug.

And to those, I say Toboganium. Right on cue, a new email has just arrived from our landscaping friends, this one from mysterious sari-wearing temptress India Gilreath:

The truth is that the job isn’t as predictable as it may sound. Perhaps you want to do landscaping on the side and go full-time when you already have a steady list of
clients. Consequently, individuals have two choices: They can bite the bullet and pay whatever it takes to get their front yard up to snuff, or they can see if they can do some or all of the work themselves.

Oh, fuck off.